It seems that I wasn't the only one not liking this in limbo situation. While Steve hasn't really said a whole lot about it, he has clearly been thinking about it.
As I mentioned before, Steve has been working nights, which means he sleeps during the day. If I haven't got a lot of sleep, I'll sometimes lay down with him, but most of the time I get up to get our daughter off to school and then stay up. It gives me time to take care of errands, household stuff and my schoolwork while the house is quiet.
Yesterday was one of the days that I stayed up. I spent a little time on Facebook chatting with an old friend and then hit the books. By one, my eyes were crossing and I decided to take a break. Normally I'll play a game or read when I need a break, but I was feeling uncharacteristically clingy so instead I crawled back in bed with Steve, curling up against his back.
As soon as I threw my arm over him, he grabbed my hand and guided it lower beneath the blankets to a welcome surprise. After a few minutes, he told me to roll onto my other side. He snuggled up behind me, wrapping his arms around me and tweaking here and there. I was really liking the direction this was heading.
Then he stopped. I swear the man fell asleep. He was even snoring. I wasn't really sleepy, but I was happy where I was so I stayed put, figuring he'd wake back up eventually.
About fifteen minutes later, the snores stopped. He edged away a little and I felt his hand at the waistband of my pants. He pulled them down, which I was happy to assist with since I figured he was continuing what he started a little earlier. All kind of delicious thoughts filled my head.
Then his hand landed on my left cheek with a crack that sounded like a rifle going off. Before I could even process the fact it had happened, more swats landed. Just when I thought I couldn't take another one on that cheek, he switched to the other cheek. When I started squirming, he threw a leg across mine to pin them. When I reached back, he grabbed the hand. The whole time he lectured.
(For the record, even though I disappeared his implements, I didn't withdraw my consent. I made that clear to him when we talked.)
While it was definitely stingy (it always is when it's been a while), it wasn't really punishment. It was more like role affirmation or a reconnect. When it was over, I was breathless and he was half on top of me. We laid like that for a while and then he took advantage of the fact I was face down with my pants pulled down to continue what he had started earlier. And he did it in a way that made it clear he was fully in charge.
I'm trying hard not to build up expectations based on this one single act. Over the past several months, the few spankings I've received have seemed perfunctory. That's probably why they've failed to have much of an impact. A temporarily sore bottom, sure, but they weren't getting me to that wonderfully soft place I need to be at. This one was different.
Whether it will continue remains to be seen. He did tell me that his work schedule is getting changed yet again. I'm beginning to think someone in the company just gets bored from time to time and says "Hey let's monkey around with the schedule." He's getting switched to a 3-11 shift.
On the surface, it seems like a good change. Right now with him working all night, it's messing with my sleep schedule because I have trouble sleeping without him in bed with me. With the new schedule, he'll be able to be in bed with me at night. In theory, it will also give us some alone time. Since he's been working nights, he's been sleeping during the day and getting up shortly before our daughter gets home from school. If he's able to sleep at night, he'll be up about the time she leaves for school, which will give us several hours alone before he has to leave for work.
Our daughter isn't happy about the change because it will cut down on her time with him. She's very much a Daddy's girl. She already wasn't happy with him working nights since he was asleep when she left in the morning and was only home for about an hour after she got home from school. With this new change, she might get to see him for a little bit in the mornings, but he'll be gone when she gets home and she'll be asleep by the time he gets home.
I'm trying not to get my hopes up that this schedule change will get us back on steadier footing. I did with the last schedule change and that's a big part of why I was disappointed when we didn't get the time together I expected.
For now, we're still somewhat in limbo, but I think we're starting to find a little equilibrium. I'm trying to not look too far into the future. I'm just taking it one day at a time.